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Converting Texts to Modules


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#1 milestein

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Posted 02 October 2006 - 05:50 AM

How does one go about converting a user tool or text file into module form, or making any sort of module? I'd like to make something for the Qur'an, preferably English translation modules I can contrast with the original Arabic. Does anybody have any suggestions?

#2 Alistair

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 04:44 AM

Hi,

I think you'll find the answer is that this is not possible.

If it was, I and others would have found it by now! The official story is that the creation of proper modules (as against user tools) is such a complicated and specialised task it is best left to the highly trained and experience staff of OakTree to do it.

Still, I would love to be proven wrong on this matter. (Hint, hint?)

:)

Edited by Alistair, 03 October 2006 - 05:16 AM.


#3 Helen Brown

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 04:56 AM

We are planning to offer the Quran on a future CD-ROM. We are also planning to allow you to make user tools that work as reference tools and scroll with Bible texts.
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#4 Alistair

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 05:24 AM

We are planning to offer the Quran on a future CD-ROM. We are also planning to allow you to make user tools that work as reference tools and scroll with Bible texts.


Helen, do you mean the Koran in arabic, or the Pickthall (or some other) translation?

Edited by Alistair, 03 October 2006 - 05:24 AM.


#5 milestein

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 04:07 PM

Good to hear about the new Qur'an module! But I second Allstair's question, whether it'll be in Arabic (which Accordance does not support far as I know) or one of the translations (or both :)). If a translation, I urge you not to choose the standards, like Pickthall or Yusuf Ali, and use maybe Bewley's or Asad's, or some other good one I haven't heard of. (I'll note that many of the translations endorsed by the Saudi government, such as Yusuf Ali's, are translated in ways that accentuate many improbable and sometimes especially anti-Christian interpretations, particularly with regards to Abraham's sacrifice of Isaac/Ishmael and the controversy concerning whether Jesus died or was taken up into heaven.) A good but slightly flawed comparison is given in the Middle East Quarterly:

http://www.meforum.org/article/717

I also encourage you to incorporate ahadith/sunnah in some shape or form. USC has an online selection that would be wonderful if converted into module form. Regardless, any Muslim module is a useful module. Good to hear of the progress!

#6 Harry Hoffner

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 07:38 PM

I guess I still don't know how to use this forum. I composed a long reply a few minutes ago and posted it, but cannot find it anywhere yet. So here goes again (this time shorter). If you are planning a CD for the Quran, I assume that -- just as you have HALOT and BDB for Hebrew, and BDAG and LS for Greek -- you will want an Arabic-English dictionary. The only really satisfactory one is J. M. Cowan's English translation of Hans Wehr's "Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic". And even though it was not intended as a specialty dictionary for the Quranic vocabulary, it is far more reliable than existing ones specializing in Quranic vocabulary. The approach is rigorously scientific and without theological bias intruding, as it often does with volumes authored by Muslim editors.

And since you are planning to acquire rights for COS, I would advise you to consider adding also the SBL series Writings from the Ancient World, which has much fuller and more representative selections in translation of ancient Near Eastern texts. I was officially involved on the editorial level with both COS and WAW, and know the strengths and weaknesses of both. I am not saying that WAW should be used *instead of* COS. But I would think it a mistake to settle for COS, especially since I am positive that the SBL series editors would be very amenable to giving you a good price on user rights for the WAW series, the individual volumes of which are *much* more affordable for college students and interested laity.
Harry Hoffner. Emeritus Professor, The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Founder & Editor of The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.


#7 Helen Brown

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 01:41 PM

At this point we are merely planning to offer a translation of the Quran along with some other texts of other religions. We are not planning to offer Arabic, nor dictionaries, nor these other resources such as WAW. We have plenty of good things still in the pipeline that are keeping the entire team busy, and we muct keep our focus on aids to Biblical studies.
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#8 Mick Matousek

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Posted 10 October 2006 - 10:44 PM

..... We have plenty of good things still in the pipeline that are keeping the entire team busy, and we must keep our focus on aids to Biblical studies.


Kudos to everyone at OakTree Software for that continued commitment to focus on Biblical tools !

#9 John Murphy

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 03:35 PM

But I just downloaded an English Translation of the Koran from here
Accordance Exchange
it seems to work fine

#10 Harry Hoffner

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 11:27 PM

I agree that Accordance should focus on tools for biblical studies. And if that is the criterion for inclusion the WAW volumes (published by the SBL!) fit much better than a translation of the Quran. As one respondent noted above, one can get digital Quran translations many other places and a tie-in to the biblical modules would be of dubious value.
Harry Hoffner. Emeritus Professor, The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Founder & Editor of The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.


#11 milestein

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 04:12 AM

That WAW material seems pretty nice, but a good Qur'an would be useful to far more people, not to mention it's considerably shorter. Really, there isn't any reason why any good Samaritan such as yourself (Hoffner or anybody else) can't make a user tool of WAW and post it on Accordance Exchange, not to say that that's an easy task. While WAW is just as good in tool form, the Qur'an really needs a module so that users can add notes and do all those other things Accordance does so well. If the good people of OakTree are going to divert their attention from the Bible, let it be for something that is most useful in module form. The "bible" of the second-largest religion is a good start.

P.S. Any idea when the Qur'an and any other world religion texts will be released?

Edited by milestein, 20 October 2006 - 04:13 AM.


#12 Alistair

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 06:06 AM

In the past I've offered material to the Accordance Exchange and received no reply (they want you to email them first, you cannot just post stuff).

Considering the age of the material there (most recent dated May 2004), I doubt if it is still a going concern for the owner.

Edited by Alistair, 24 October 2006 - 06:07 AM.


#13 Helen Brown

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 08:55 AM

Sorry, David takes care of the exchange, but he's been neglecting it due to the pressure of other projects. His work in so many areas is so invaluable that we just keep piling them onto him. I am sure he will get to it eventually.
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#14 Harry Hoffner

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 07:33 PM

That WAW material seems pretty nice, but a good Qur'an would be useful to far more people, not to mention it's considerably shorter. Really, there isn't any reason why any good Samaritan such as yourself (Hoffner or anybody else) can't make a user tool of WAW and post it on Accordance Exchange, not to say that that's an easy task. While WAW is just as good in tool form, the Qur'an really needs a module so that users can add notes and do all those other things Accordance does so well. If the good people of OakTree are going to divert their attention from the Bible, let it be for something that is most useful in module form. The "bible" of the second-largest religion is a good start.

P.S. Any idea when the Qur'an and any other world religion texts will be released?


I repeat: focusing on the biblical material is the right way for OakTree to go. Including the Quran is a waste of good staff labor. Existing extra-biblical modules such as the Pseudepigrapha have potential value for interpreting the Bible, since NT authors sometimes directly quote or allude to that literature. Any good NT commentary written during the past 50 years attests to how invaluable this material is for interpreting the NT. The Quran was composed 600 and more years after the NT and does nothing to help interpret it. Its references to biblical material are confused, and Muslims justify this by claiming our Bibles have been corrupted. The Quran is only a tool for evangelizing Muslims. This has its place, but not in an Accordance module. There are many Hindus and Buddhists in the world, many living in the USA, but I would never suggest that we have their sacred texts in Accordance modules. All of these are freely available in searchable digital form on the Internet. That is the place for them. As for the WAW books, like the COS none are in public domain; so anyone posting a User Tool of the WAW (or COS) contents violates copyright law and might end up in prison! I would certainly never do that myself or recommend it to others. OakTree should stick to the biblical texts and commentaries.
Harry Hoffner. Emeritus Professor, The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Founder & Editor of The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.


#15 milestein

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 04:52 PM

I repeat: focusing on the biblical material is the right way for OakTree to go. Including the Quran is a waste of good staff labor. Existing extra-biblical modules such as the Pseudepigrapha have potential value for interpreting the Bible, since NT authors sometimes directly quote or allude to that literature. Any good NT commentary written during the past 50 years attests to how invaluable this material is for interpreting the NT. The Quran was composed 600 and more years after the NT and does nothing to help interpret it. Its references to biblical material are confused, and Muslims justify this by claiming our Bibles have been corrupted. The Quran is only a tool for evangelizing Muslims. This has its place, but not in an Accordance module. There are many Hindus and Buddhists in the world, many living in the USA, but I would never suggest that we have their sacred texts in Accordance modules. All of these are freely available in searchable digital form on the Internet. That is the place for them. As for the WAW books, like the COS none are in public domain; so anyone posting a User Tool of the WAW (or COS) contents violates copyright law and might end up in prison! I would certainly never do that myself or recommend it to others. OakTree should stick to the biblical texts and commentaries.

Last time I checked, a good hunk of the pseudepigrapha is post-New Testament, and though it's closer to biblical composition dates, it has the same sort of relevance to biblical study as does the Qur'an. Clearly you believe the Qur'an is false prophecy, which means you're of the school that believes Mohammed stole biblical and extra-biblical material from neighboring Jews and Christians. Well, studying the Qur'an allows us to use these passages to see exactly what legends were common in 7th century Arabia amongst the monotheistic communities. Look to accounts of Adam in the Qur'an and we see strong ties to the Latin Vita Adae Et Evae and the Greek Apocalypse of Moses, pseudepigraphical texts probably originating from a Hebrew text c. 70 AD. Look to Dhul-Qarnayn and you see traces of the Alexander Romances, fabricated tales of Alexander the Great that make it into the texts of Josephus.

More importantly for a sort like yourself, studying the Qur'an allows one to identify sources and falsehoods that challenge the Muslim belief that the the Qur'an is flawless and infallible. They've been able to uphold this belief because, as of the present, no one has either dared or bothered to find the flaws. If we continue to believe that the Qur'an, the most significant of the third and only other branch of the Abrahamic religions, is pointless, the Muslim world will never come closer to an analysis of their texts that is as critical as biblical scholarship is today. Maybe one or two potential "martyrs" will understand that that verse they read about virgins in heaven isn't really what they thought it was.

For this, I think Oaktree can take a quick break from the plethora of biblical texts they've already produced and focus, just for a second, on something Muslim.

Edited by milestein, 30 October 2006 - 04:55 PM.


#16 Lorinda H. M. Hoover

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Posted 30 October 2006 - 05:45 PM

I'm growing concerned about how argumentative this thread is becoming. I think it is presumptious of any of us to assume that we know what the rest of the Accordance community would find most helpful or believe to be the highest priority. The most we can say is what our own preferences/priorities are.

I don't have an opinion one way or another about the "appropriateness" of OakTree adding the Qur'an to to its base of texts. But I do know enough to realize that this is not something that can be done "quickly." If we are talking about Arabic, it means adding another language; in Accordance this is not just a matter of finding the right font and someone who actually understands the language. As I understand it, it also means setting up a whole other field and search structure. Anytime we add Greek or Hebrew to User notes or tools, Accordance files those entries away as "fields" separate from the English (or Spanish or German, as the case may be). This is so we can search for Greek or Hebrew entries. It also means finding a "tagged" e-text or creating one. None of this is easy to do. Even to have "simply" and English version is, I am sure, not an easy matter to code for Accordance.

If Oaktree were to consider it worth their while to pursue it, I would not object; indeed I might even decide to purchase an English version. But I trust that they understand far better than I the amount of work involved and their own sense of priorities. This is true even for potential additions that are a much higher priority for me personally.
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#17 Abram K-J

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 08:30 PM

In the entry above (#3), Helen talks about plans for a Quran (and other texts) in Accordance. I know that this is a very old (7+ years ago thread). Do some modules with texts from other religions exist, and I just haven't been able to find them?

 

I did see from another thread that there is a Quran on the exchange (English), so am glad to have that.


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#18 Helen Brown

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 12:36 AM

We have not pursued the idea of adding other religions, the Bible and related texts keep us busy enough.


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